Who Is Your Worst Critic?

Here is another re-run post for you to ponder. I’ll be offline for the next several days. In my absence please feel free to comment on the post, to each other… I’ll look forward to seeing your discussion when I get back.


Who is your worst critic in general?

Who is your worst critic about your quilting or other crafting?

What does that critic say to you about your quilting or crafting skills and talents?

Do you believe that critic from an intellectual standpoint?

Do you believe the critic from an emotional standpoint?

If the critic is right, do you care?

If the critic is wrong, do you care?

If you care (and want to “improve,”), is there something you are willing to do to address the criticisms?

If you don’t care (or don’t want to “improve,”) is there something you are willing to do to address the critic?

Does the criticism affect your desire to try things?

Who is your biggest fan?

How do you know?

What can you do to get more positive feedback from that fan or others, including yourself?

Will you show up, be big, regardless of the feedback?

Will you listen to this talk by Brené Brown, about the critics in your creative arena? It’s about 20 minutes. I found her affirming and inspiring.


10 thoughts on “Who Is Your Worst Critic?

  1. tierneycreates

    I cannot remember who said this but I have heard it several times – You would never keep a friend in your life that talked to you the way you talk to yourself. I try and remember that. I have read several of Brown’s books – love them!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Agreed. Someone I love very much is incredibly hard on herself, assessing herself as failing so much of the time. And I often think, you would NEVER say that to a friend! Sad.

  2. KerryCan

    I’m probably my own biggest critic but not in a really negative way. I prod myself and question, but I think I’m very fair. Maybe it come from years of giving feedback on college student papers . . .

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      It is valuable training, I believe! It’s hard to give good-quality, objective feedback to others. But practice makes it easier, and hopefully easier on ourselves, too.

  3. Sue

    Me, Me, Me…The Brene Brown talk was a real tonic…she affirms that it is okay, and essential, even, to honor your self (whole self, that is, blemishes and all) enough to be creative. As a relative newcomer to my chosen art I feel very insecure a lot of the time, and afraid of being thought pretentious, even though I mostly feel satisfied with what I am creating. I’m pretty clear that I’m doing it mostly for myself, rather than for anyone else, but here I have just gotten two quilts into my very first show and I’m sort of terrified about it. And some days, like today, I avoid going into my work space because I think there are so many other more ‘worthy’ tasks I should accomplish. I have trouble sometimes allowing myself to play. I suppose we all struggle with that. I have been reading Jane Dunnewold’s new book Creative Strength Training, and she has a chapter along similar lines, The Committee. She encourages us to name them, and respond to them, as an artistic development exercise. Reserving seats for them in the arena is certainly an option! Thanks for posting this, and for inviting the conversation. I’ll check back in to the discussion again! Zippyquilts, I like your distinction between Criticism and Critique.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I’ll have to look for that book. And in my experience, “play” is hard. The last few things I’ve made have felt more like that, though. I’ll have to consider what makes them different…

  4. katechiconi

    Me. I am my own worst critic. If the internal Me is critical about skills, taking the easy way out or shortcuts taken, I’ll listen, because that’s something I can improve. If the internal Me criticises my creativity or choices or concepts, I’ll work hard to ignore it, because all of that is a process of learning, developing and improving, and I can only learn, develop and improve by being there and *doing* it. I’m also sadly disinclined to listen to people who say “I’d have done this, or used that”, especially if I don’t admire their work!


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